Mongolia, which is roughly six times the size of Colorado with half the population, has embarked on an ambitious conservation program that would bring up to one-third of the arid country into a system of preserves and parks.
Synchronicity: Last night M. and I watched Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan(dir. Sergei Bodrov, 2007) .
It ranks highly among "barbarian movies," all of which follow the same gender code:
- Become blood brothers and thereafter greet one another with an inarticulate "Yaaah!"
- Suffer pain
- Seek visions
- Have sex
- Have sex
- Bear sons
- Flee from enemies provoked by the men or ...
- Are captured by said enemies
- Shout curses at numbers 3 and 4.
Any Westerner who upon seeing the movie thinks something like, "That reminds me of the Wind River Range" —or the Great Sand Dunes—might contemplate how, for instance, the Blackfeet, Sioux, or Plains Cree might have turned out if they had not just horses but also steel weapons, sheep, and wheeled carts—plus a few centuries to refine a lifestyle of nomadism, fearless independence, and blood feuds.
The Merkit people—simultaneously neighbors, enemies, and relatives of Genghis Khan—are even shown as living in tipis.